– CIOG President
In recognition of the adoption of “World Interfaith Harmony Week” which is commemorated by the United Nations General Assembly during the first week of February, each year, the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) and the Muslim community support the 28 co-sponsors and President Jagdeo for supporting this global initiative.
According to President of CIOG, Fazeel Ferouz, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution of Jordan’s King Abdullah and Prince Gazi and established the first week of February each year as “World Interfaith Harmony Week”.
“We live in a world which is rife with religious tension, mistrust and hatred. These religious tensions can easily erupt into communal violence. The remedy for this problem can only come from the religions themselves. They all invite to God, the Creator of everything including human beings. God is good and loves that which is good,” Ferouz said.
He further emphasised that true believers in God cooperate in the promotion of virtues, including, respect for all human beings, irrespective of their religion or race and the prevention of vices, among them, intolerance and racism.
All religions emphasise common values such as interfaith harmony and cooperation. Islam prohibits the misuse and abuse of religion. Religion should serve as the foundation for facilitating peace and unity.
Adding that the world’s beauty is in its racial and religious pluralism, Ferouz said that this diversity is the handiwork of the Almighty so that mankind may learn from each other and not despise each other.
“All human beings are equal in the sight of God, and the basis of superiority according to him is good conduct…these fears are largely unfounded and can be alleviated through interfaith dialogue.”
For this dialogue to move forward successfully, the CIOG President said that the representatives of different faiths engaged in active dialogue should agree on the following three principles; forced conversions should not be encouraged, followers of all religions are free to lead lives in accordance with their own beliefs, and the values inherent in all religions especially patience, love for God’s creation and tolerance, which allow their followers to coexist with one another peacefully, should be provided.
In Guyana, he said, “We have enjoyed peaceful religious co-existence and religious tolerance, this achievement must be sustained by building on those common values of peace, love, tolerance and mutual respect. Interfaith harmony will help to strengthen the community of believers and save religion from being maligned by those bent on destroying it.”
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